Thursday, 11 April 2013

Sunday 28 April - Losers and Winners

Sunday 28 April | 7pm | Free | Usual secret venue (check the mailing list)

Losers and Winners 

A documentary by Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken Germany 2006, 96 mins 

A pamphlet of materials compiled to accompany this screening can be downloaded from here:

For one and a half years, filmmakers Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken watch as a gigantic industrial site is dismantled, documenting the stories accompanying its disappearance: how the coke workers in the industrial Ruhr Region experience the arrival and working methods of the Chinese, their feelings upon seeing their pride in their work vanish along with what was the most modern coke factory in the world, but also the strain and conflicts the Chinese workers face during their 60-hour work week far away from home and family, caught between euphoria and doubts about their future.

Two worlds collide. But who is ultimately the winner and who the loser when jobs and the “economic miracle” that made them possible leave their country of origin and a whole region of Germany experiences first-hand the impact of the phenomenon of globalization, while in the Middle Kingdom new visions come and go with each passing day?

As customary for the last few screenings we will be using aleatory human powers to select shorts from a recent film work by Nicholas Rey to screen prior to the main feature.

Anders, Molussien / Differently, Molussia

Directed by Nicholas Rey, 9 films, 81 mins (we'll screen 1-3 shorts from this work)

The 80-minute feature is comprised of nine individual reels of varying lengths, and Nicolas Rey has designed the film so that their order of presentation should be randomly assigned. (Each reel is designated by a differently coloured title card: a pink reel, a green reel, a canary reel, etc.) That is, Rey has built the film from modules, each thematically linked to the others while retaining semi-autonomy with respect to order, narrative, and spatial orientation. They must all appear once, but can appear in any sequence. In this regard, Rey renegotiates the narrative time of The Molussian Catacomb into a kind of thinly spread simultaneity, an all-over “time field,” not unlike the colour field of a painter’s canvas. Not only does everything happen "at once", but in a theoretical timeframe of perpetual diegetic present. The inescapable historical resonances within Anders’ imaginary tale of Molussia—to Nazi Germany, but to various other times including our own—all become equally present through Rey’s unusual presentation. In this way autrement, la Molussie taps into Walter Benjamin’s specific idea of allegory, since rather than one (fictional) timeframe standing in for another, the very vacuity of certain of history’s gestures allows for their multivalent signification. The mundane exercise of power can represent itself in different circumstances while ironically retaining its specificity. 

 Short text on Anders, Molussien by Michael Sicinski:

The German Model 

Since crisis struck at the beginning of the 1990s the relation of power between the classes has shifted in general. Since1993 labour's share of total national income has decreased persistently, with the total volume of wages distributed more and more unevenly (widening 'wage differentiation'). Initially the decreasing proportion of income going to labour resulted from the increase in part-time work, but since 2003 actual hourly wages have decreased, mainly because of the expansion of so-called 'atypical employment relations' (temp work etc.). We can summarise this process neatly in one sentence: "Between 1998 and 2008 the number of people in 'atypical employment' increased by 2.4 million, while 'normal employment' decreased by 0.8 million jobs." (Logeay/Weiss). Current statistics state that 7.6 million workers are employed 'atypically', which is a quarter of the total workforce. On average the wages in temporary jobs and 'mini-jobs' are only half of the wages in 'normal employment relations'. This wage difference "remains even if studies take into account as explanatory factors the usual social, demographic and economical characteristics (type of profession, size of company, sector, age, gender, qualification, seniority, region)." (Logeay/Weiss)

The German Model (excerpt from article in Wildcat no.90):

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

World on a Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Sunday 24 February 2013 

Welt am Draht / World on a Wire (PART I)
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, (1973)
We put together a pamphlet on cybernetics for the screening get it:

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s visionary science-fiction thriller originally made for German television in 1973. 

[World on a Wire is] a very beautiful story that depicts a world where one is able to make projections of people using a computer. And, of course, this leads to the uncertainty of whether someone himself is a projection, since in the virtual world projections resemble reality. Perhaps another, larger world has made us as a virtual one? In this sense it deals with the old philosophical model, which here takes on a certain horror. Fassbinder
Based on Daniel F. Galouye's novel "Simulacron Three" Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 2 part TV production is a science-fiction classic that explores the notion of a computer-generated other world, pre-dating The Matrix by 26 years. Since its original broadcast in 1973 it has rarely been seen and following increasing demand the Fassbinder Foundation have restored this remarkable film.

Simulacron 1 is a highly advanced project, designed to take computer technology to a new level by creating another world inhabited by computer-generated people or ‘identity units’ that will help to predict future events. When the head of the project dies mysteriously after showing signs of mental disturbance, Dr Stiller becomes his successor. However, Stiller also begins to behave bizarrely. He speaks of people disappearing whom no one else knows, believes someone is trying to murder him and has nausea attacks. As he begins to probe deeper into Simulacron, the line between the real and virtual world becomes increasingly blurred and his own existence is questioned.